DAVE Jones pondered the prospect of signing Gary Madine for Cardiff around 18 months ago before he joined the Owls from Carlisle.
Now the new Wednesday boss will aim to help develop the 21-year-old’s potential. “I was looking to buy him at Cardiff, we had a good look at him,” said Jones. “At his age, and with the players we had, we thought he would learn from it.”
Jones also watched Owls midfield man Chris Lines when he was a Bristol Rovers player.
Although he is new to the Wednesday job, Jones says he has either watched most of the players or seen them playing against his clubs, or worked with them, for example Stephen Bywater at Derby and Daniel Jones at Wolves.
He also knows Madine’s agent very well and spoke to him yesterday. “Gary’s got a lot of potential,” said Jones. “What you have to remember in football is: how long do you wait for potential to develop?
“You push people and you push them really hard. When I was at Cardiff I brought in Aaron Ramsey at 15 and he played at 16 because we knew he had the potential.
“Everybody’s got potential. From what I’ve seen in the last couple of days, there’s a lot of quality here as well.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 or 23, you always have the potential to do better. It’s about getting the best out of them and getting them to perform so they know what their peaks are.”
Jones confirmed that Chris Evans is staying as assistant manager though coach Terry Burton has been added to the staff. Coaches Neil Thompson and Andy Rhodes also remain.
The new boss said of the trio who worked under Gary Megson: “It’s not whether I like them, it’s whether they like me, and we’ll see whether they can work with me and I can work with them. It’s a clean start for everybody. That’s how I work.”
Jones worked with Burton for six years at Cardiff: “I’ve brought him in to add to the staff,” said the manager. “When you come to a new place it’s good to have someone who knows you and how you work. We work well together.”
Meanwhile, Reda Johnson will be out for a further week with his hamstring niggle.